A panel of five Constitutional court judges has dismissed an application by four time presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye asking court to nullify the offense of unlawful assembly in the Penal code Act.
The panel comprising five Justices Kenneth Kakuru, Cheborion Barishaki, Elizabeth Musoke, Steven Musota and Geoffrey Kiryabwire delivered its verdict Thursday morning.
On July 7, 2011, Dr Besigye through his lawyers from A. F Mpanga petitioned the Constitutional Court to scrap the offense of unlawful assembly from the Penal Code Act on grounds that it was unconstitutional.
In his suit, Besigye noted that the offense contravenes Article 21, 27, 29 and 43 of the Constitution of Uganda, which guarantee equality and freedom from discrimination, right to privacy of persons, home and other property, protection of freedom of expression movement, assembly, association and human rights freedoms.
Dr Besigye ran to court after he was picked up various times and arraigned before Kasangati and Nabweru Magistrate’s court for staging unlawful assemblies when he led the Walk to Work protests that were prompted by high commodity prices.
He asked the Constitutional Court to declare his arrest and subsequent prosecution in various courts unconstitutional. However, the five justices unanimously dismissed the application in their judgment read by Constitutional Court Registrar, Dr Agnes Nkonge Thursday morning.
The justices noted that they had looked at Dr Besigye’s political background and found that he has been in contempt of Supreme Court orders resulting from the Amama Mbabazi’s Presidential Election Petition challenging the declaration of Mr Museveni as winner of 2016 presidential elections.urn